1. Connecting Communities through Action
2. River Valley Connections
3. Transforming the Landscape
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Community and Volunteering
At the heart of our scheme is the landscape that we live and work in. This includes the river, its valley and all the communities that have sprung up along its length.
We have delivered a number of initiatives that support the natural heritage: reconnecting the river with its floodplains, improving habitats, and addressing issues including flooding and climate change.
We also appreciate the cultural, industrial and military heritage of the landscape and have worked with landowners and communities to survey, preserve and restore heritage assets.
Our natural heritage project has delivered physical changes directly upon the river channel and its floodplain to reinstate natural river processes. This is achieved through a variety of schemes which directly enhance the river channel, through bank reprofiling, creation of backwaters, removal of barriers, reconnecting historical channels and slowing the flow to capture sediment.
Across the wider floodplain and valley, the project has reconnected the existing wetlands and reinstated a suite of habitats typically found within a thriving floodplain. Our target habitats included species-rich floodplain meadows and grazing marsh, wet woodland and riparian trees. We have created wetland features including ponds, reedbeds and scrapes, all aimed at protecting and buffering the watercourse along its length, reducing habitat fragmentation and improving species diversity. We are working in partnership with local landowners, quarry companies and local authorities to create a more natural and resilient landscape to deal with the pressures of pollution, flooding and climate change.
Project Lead: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
The Trent Valley landscape has a rich and diverse cultural heritage resource ranging in date from the early prehistoric through to the modern day. However significant pressures from development, mineral extraction, expanding infrastructure and agriculture across this area have and will continue to impact upon this valuable resource.
We have been working with local communities, volunteers and landowners to record and improve the condition of vulnerable heritage assets across the project area and achieve sustainable management for them.
Project Lead: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and Staffordshire County Council
Brook Hollows is a former fishing lake at the heart of the Rolleston community. The lake required some restoration work including silt removal from the lake and management of the trees overhanging the water. The lake is filling with silt that is being washed in by the Rolleston Brook and it in danger of silting up completely. By removing nearly 1,500 cubic metres of silt, we have increased the capacity of the lake and bought some more time until a catchment-based solution can be implemented.
The Friends of Brook Hollows have been working hard helping to improve and manage the lake and spinney (woodland), including improving the network of paths that run through the wood, removing invasive plants like Himalayan balsam and Snowberry, and litter picking. The site is a beautiful space for visitors to sit and enjoy the area and, by working together, we are helping to create the best possible environment for people and wildlife.
Schools and families have started using the site more frequently and, thanks to the Friends of Brook Hollows, you can now find log seating areas, bird hides and an eagle sculpture trail in the woodland. There are also new information boards that tell the story of the wildlife and the fascinating history of the Hollows and how they once formed a network of fishing lakes for the Mosley Estate.
Project Lead: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and East Staffordshire Borough Council
Through this project, we have focussed on the surviving military heritage within the Trent Valley landscape, mainly comprising pillboxes, which formed part of the iconic Second World War ‘Stop Line’.
Local volunteers have carried out recording and condition surveys of these structures, which can be used to develop proposals for their long term monitoring and management. To complement this work, volunteers have carrying out research, conducting oral history surveys, and helped develop content for interpretation.
A number of pill boxes were identified for reversible reuse such as bat hibernacula, bird nesting sites and interpretation spaces. These were converted and design guidance was produced to inform future conversions within the project area and elsewhere.
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